NBA

Lonzo Ball.

Lonzo Ball has the attention of a lottery team that wants to trade up

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Lonzo Ball is one of the most intriguing prospects entering the NBA Draft, and he isn't even expected to be the No. 1 pick.

Ball currently projects to be the No. 2 pick to the Los Angeles Lakers on NBA Draft day, but many analysts wonder if his ceiling may be the highest out of the group of elite players making the leap to become professional basketball players. 

Markelle Fultz has been the consensus No. 1 pick, which is one of the reasons the Philadelphia 76ers traded some of their own assets to move from No. 3 to No. 1. Fultz has the same level of top-pick confidence that league executives had about Karl-Anthony Towns two years ago. 

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That hasn't stopped teams from being highly interested in what Ball could bring to the table, including the Lakers. One team in the lottery has been trying to trade-up to land Lonzo, though, adding more trade rumors to the fire with the NBA Draft closing in on Thursday.

The Phoenix Suns have been making attempts to trade up from No. 4 in order to draft Ball, according to Chad Ford of ESPN's latest mock draft. Phoenix has held discussions with both the Lakers (No. 2) and Celtics (No. 3), but both teams have pushed back.

The Lakers held a closed-to-media workout with Lonzo before heading out to Chino Hills to watch him in a second workout in his own environment, and all signs point to Ball being their pick on Thursday. The Celtics, meanwhile, have their attention on doing bigger and better things with the No. 3 pick after pulling off one blockbuster trade already. 

Boston is hopeful the third overall selection, and perhaps other assets they have stockpiled, could be enough to land them Jimmy Butler in a trade that would inch them closer to superteam status. Their hope is Butler would be one of the finishing touches they need to recruit Gordon Hayward as a free agent when the market opens on July 1. 

The Suns are hoping for a high-octane backcourt featuring Ball and Devin Booker, but it sounds unlikely at this point. The Lakers could trade-down, but following their workouts with all of the top-four prospects, Jackson's showing in LA sounds like it didn't impress. 

Still, if Phoenix has its heart set on moving up for Lonzo, the Lakers could be interested in moving down to No. 4 if additional assets are heading their way. It's a long shot, especially with LA focused on what's becoming a race to acquire Paul George. 

Topics:
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
LA Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Kobe Bryant
Phoenix Suns
Magic Johnson
Philadelphia Sixers

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